The third day of our tour was pretty tough. Not only was it 105km in length but it started off with a tough mountain pass and ended in a tougher mountain pass.

After a quick breakfast consisting of oatmeal, danish and some fruit, we were out of the hostel by 9am. The morning was very cool but the forecast called for temperatures in the mid 20s.

Here's a view of Castle mountain in the morning. The general store and gas station can be seen on the left.


Here's Dave starting up towards Vermillion Pass. As you can see, the next gas station is 104km in the town of Radium.

After around 15 minutes of cycling, we passed a group of cyclists leaving the Storm Mountain lodge. They were obviously on some organized bicycle tour since they all rode similar bikes with only a rackpack. None of them even said hello to us as we rode on by.

During our 8 day journey, we must have met at least 100 cyclists who were either touring or riding a road bike. The vast majority gave us a wave but the credit card tourers always seemed to ignore us. Ah well... I'd probably feel a little snobbish as well if I paid $2,000+ for my guided tour.


Here's a bicycle view of the road. Hardly any traffic at this time.


Here's a picture of me standing at the Continental Divide. Woohoo !


After 3 days of cycling, Dave finally decided to get rid of some extra weight off his bike. This included a mattress, folding table and a huge container of gasoline.

But in all honesty, we found it pretty pathetic that someone would dump all of these items on the side of the road. What a bunch of asshats !

As you can see, we're just about to enter Kootenay National Park which is in British Columbia.


This area of Highway 93 was hit with a major forest fire in 2003 which actually closed this stretch of road.

Due to the lack of rain this summer, I was really concerned that we might have another season of forest fires but luckily for all of us, that didn't happen... yet.


Here's a wicked view of the Stanley glacier along with Mt. Stanley from Highway 93.

This is definitely on my to-do list for 2007.


Here's a typical view of the road from Castle Junction to the Vermillion Crossing. The Vermillion river was always on our right as we rode this stretch of flat highway.

Shortly before this picture was taken, I found Dave on the side of the road inspecting his rear wheel while shaking his head. He was wondering why his rim brakes were pulsating for the last 2 days and he finally found the cause - his rim was cracked ! The sides of the rim had a crack while the broad part of the rim had a noticible crease. This was bad news since there was no way we could repair something like this on the road. We had no choice but to wait until we got into Golden to replace the rim.


The Vermillion Crossing is coming up in another 200m or so.

The Kootenay Park Lodge (hidden to the left) was the only store along this stretch of highway.

We decided to stop at the picnic area to the right and have some Korean ramen for lunch. Dave insisted that we purchase Korean ramen for this trip due to the fact that the bags were made of foil as opposed to thin plastic. The foil allowed us to pour boiling water into the package which saved us from having to bring bowls. Pretty ingenous !

Of course we made the ramens using water filtered from the Vermillion river. Yum !

  Here's some more road between the Vermillion Crossing and Radium. The roads were relatively flat and included stretches of up to 10km where it was completely straight with no scenery except for trees. I nearly fell asleep on one of these sections.

After about 90km of riding, we finally came face to face with the second and final pass for the day - Sinclair Pass.

Unlike the Vermillion Pass we did earlier in the day, the Sinclair Pass was a lot steeper and harder. Well... maybe it had to do with the 90km of riding I did prior to reaching the pass.

Either way, I have to shamefully admit that I was forced to push the last 500m up to the pass. Ironically, I found that pushing my bike was actually tougher than riding it due to the unbalanced weight of my bike. All it took was a slight turn of my handlebar and the rear end would come swinging down to the ground.


Here's a cool looking lake at the top of the pass. We encountered several lakes during the day that were really green.

The ride down from the pass to the town of Radium Hot Springs was simply amazing ! The grade was around 8 or 9 degrees and you know you're going fast when you pass a pair of "Runaway Zones" which are basically a run out used by vehicles which are unable to slow down to make a sharp turn.

I must have hit at least 70km/h on some of these sections ! I must have covered the last 5km in around 6 or 7 minutes.

Unfortunately for Dave, he was forced to take it slow due to his cracked rim.


After arriving in Radium, we booked into a motel called the Crescent Motel and promptly made our way to the Hotsprings where we soaked for well over an hour.

It was kind of weird having a pair of shorts issued to us (with the Canadian Govt logo) as we were told to proceed down the stairs to the first door on our right. Dave and I both served in the cadets and the military reserves so we both had a chuckle as we were reminded of the old days.

After the hot springs, we proceeded to one of the only places open for dinner - some pizza joint about 5 min from our motel. We both ordered a Kokanee and split a pizza as we continued to talk about our days in the service.